Joey Lenti's Reviews > Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese Family

Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 01, 2010

it was amazing
Read in November, 2010

Lauren Kessler has done an extraordinary job of assembling a vast amount of family narrative and historical-cultural contextual information into an immensely satisfying story about an intergenerational American immigrant experience. The Yasui family's willingness to share their story with such candor, and Kessler's keen research, editing, interviewing, and storytelling, have yielded a masterpiece of nonfiction American historical literature.

I read this as an audiobook, though I also enjoyed looking at the photos of the Yasui family in the hardcover edition from the library. It was not a fast read — the emotional flow of the book tended to be as unpredictably complex and convoluted as real human life can be. It required time to digest and reflect. The audiobook experience suited the book's complexity very well, pacing the delivery of the story.

The related 1989 PBS American Experience episode referenced in the last part of the book (episode: "A Family Gathering") is available on VHS from selected libraries. As of this writing, I have been unable to locate the video in other formats. If you enjoy the book (or audiobook), you may find it satisfying to find and watch the video ... to "meet" the people you have learned about, so to speak.

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